Health Care

South Africa reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in Mpumalanga: OIE

South Africa reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in Mpumalanga: OIE”

South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday.

Speaking to Farmer's Weekly, Dr Charlotte Nkuna, executive at the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), said that upon discovery, South African exports had ceased immediately.

The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds.

The single outbreak is the first to be found in South African poultry; however, there is a possibility that the disease is present in other wild water birds, especially ducks, in South Africa, which makes it hard to control and contain to a particular area.

"This particular strain of the disease has been in Europe for well over a year and it hasn't caused any problems for people". The disease is spread primarily through water migratory birds that carry the disease in a highly pathogenic form.

There's been an outbreak on a farm near the Vaal River on the border between Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

However, the government can not stop wild birds from migrating from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

H5N8 is not unsafe to humans, and the birds affected comprise a very small percentage of the total South African chicken flock.

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